12 February, 2006

TV OD (Spoilers for Grey's Anatomy)

Well, okay. Three of the four best hours of television in the last five years were on this weekend. The fourth best hour was last Sunday night, with a rebroadcast Thursday.

Movies may suck out loud, but man! Television is coming back around.

Arrested Development bowed out with two of it's best hours ever. In a series brimming with greatness, that's saying something. And just as I'd recovered from watching Michael and George Michael sailing into the sunset, along came Grey's Anatomy.

I'm still soaking it all in, with the climactic ballad Breathe [2 AM] on an infintity loop in the iTunes background. There are too many favourite parts to list, but I must say that the bookending shower scenes were what pushed me over the edge. The two-part episode opens with an erotic shower scene between Meredith, Christina, and Izzy. It's George's fantasy, it's the Three Graces, it's the abandon of risk-free sex. (I have a theory about the appeal of lesbian erotica for the heterosexual male. I think it's so popular because it portrays the sensuality of sex unhampered by the threat of pregnancy and thus mortality.)
And of course, the reality of the shower at the end. The same three women, this time in the form of a baptism, an absolution, an immolation. What begins as sex ends as death.

I have ultimate respect for the writers of both Grey's Anatomy and Arrested Development because they understand that in many ways television is the new epic medium.

The clincher I-bow-to-thee moments are in two tiny throw-away lines. At the opening of last week's episode when Meredith refused to get out of bed, she finishes her litany to Christina by saying that "her conditioner stopped working" and she thinks she has brittle bones. Both things seem like typical woman-having-a-bad-day complaints. Then at the close of two intense hours of television, McDreamy tells her he remembers the flowery smell of her hair. "Lavender. It smells like my conditioner."

The same conditioner that quit working on the day she quit being able to remember her last kiss with the guy. Yeah, it's sappy as heck, but it's beautiful writing nonetheless.

Jason and Erin need to get their TV back in working order for this show. Or pick up the Season 1 DVDs on Tuesday.

And of course the big thanks goes to Lacy for getting me hooked on the show in the first place.


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